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BankrollingBallet

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  1. Guessing from your list of schools LittleNutcracker that it's upper school auditions? I can hardly believe it's been 4 years since I did this with my DC, the memories seem so fresh. My top tips would be plenty of planning, preparation, positivity and a very generous supply of wine ;-D Enjoy the roller coaster ride!
  2. I can only echo the comments above, most of CeliB's post could have been written by me as her experience was so similar. DC trained with them around 5 years ago for a few months aged 14 or 15. The unyielding and extremely vocal insistence of the 'administrator' that DC must train there and only there (other prestigious schools would ruin physique, posture etc.) was too much to deal with in the end. Such a shame as DC loved training there. Fantastic teaching - I can't stress that enough. Corrections were often less than tactful but water off a duck's back in light of the amount of learning being soaked up and DC's thick skin. The school was very generous, friendly and welcoming on the whole. If they think you have what they're looking for they won't be shy about letting you know. Edited to add: DC had no Russian training before going there, just RAD.
  3. That's my abiding memory of that whole audition & GCSE year, loads and loads of waiting and just as much worrying.
  4. Reading this thread really takes me back to that awful audition roller-coaster. I hope those of you suffering the horrors of reserve list take some encouragement from this... On this day back in 2011 DC was the proud holder of one funded offer and 3 reserve lists. Whilst blown away with relief to know that vocational training was on the cards, the funded offer was from DC's 4th choice school so DC was still hoping for another option. On 23rd April (best St George's day ever) funded offers arrived from DC's 1st and 3rd choice schools! So 1st choice was accepted immediately, 3rd & 4th choice offers declined and DC requested removal from 2nd choice reserve list. Offers really do come from reserve lists once the first round of offers have gone out, so hang in there! Not all reserve lists shuffle about and move at the same rate it goes on for ages. One of DC's classmates was originally on the reserve list, had given up hope and accepted a place at another school until a place was offered in July. This freed up a funded place at the other school. Not sure I'd still have been holding my breath that long but the dancer who got the very late offer must have been very happy! Very best wishes to all those talented dancers and their traumatised parents still waiting and hoping.
  5. Petalviolet, I always loved to watch DC'S class whenever possible it's something I really miss now that schooling days are over. Parents were very well behaved in my experience with one notable exception - a mother who felt the need to shout out corrections to her DC during exercises. I'm not sure who went more puce, the teacher (enraged) or the dancer (mortified) but when a series of withering glares from the teacher failed to halt the mother's 'enthusiam' she politely (through gritted teeth) asked the mother to allow her to run the class without input from the stalls. Problem was that it was so funny to watch most of us were helpless with laughter trying to stifle it so as not to make the situation worse. It kept us mothers amused for several months after, as we'd call out the same corrections to one another as we passed in corridor or car park 'watch that working leg darling!' I can still hear it now 6 years on.
  6. I think you just click on 'edit' next to the multiquote button in your post.
  7. I wonder TillyJ if you might consider editing that comment out of your post, and Jazzpaws edit out your quote? It's really not an acceptable thing to say at all but particularly about teenagers who can be identified. It doesn't add anything to the points you're making about your audition experience.
  8. Maybe a lesson for future auditionees to take from this thread is that it's very difficult to get an accurate idea picture of a school on audition day. DC did the upper school auditions in 2011 - I still feel sick remembering the stress of the auditions and the awful wait for letters! We'd been well advised though and had managed to get courses booked at each school on the list in the couple of years before auditions. By the time the auditions rolled around DC already had a good feel for the schools and was clear on which were the best fit so the fluffy welcome (or lack of one) wasn't important and some faces on panels were familiar. I'd really recommend spending some time training at a school (if at all possible) to get a real feel for it. Interestingly, one school slipped down the list when DC felt insuffient time was given to auditionees to warm up because they'd been given a tour of the facilities. I guess they all have different priorities, DC actually preferred the less fussy more adult atmosphere at Central, chose it above others and spent 3 very happy and successful years there. Of course it's all in the eye of the beholder and the audition wasn't DC's only chance to behold. ???? Good luck to your daughter in her remaining auditions, I hope she finds the right place for her.
  9. Don't be disheartened dancing10! DC graduated from Central this summer and I can assure you that not all students come from vocational schools or RB associates. It's a student's potential that is paramount and the school is aware from application forms what level of training a student has already had the benefit of. In the year DC auditioned, there was a 'movement' class with a drummer as well as the ballet class with a pianist so that natural ability/aptitude could be assessed as well as classical training, I'm not sure if that's still the case though. Students come from all backgrounds all over the world. They are certainly not all from well off families and in my experience it's often the 'middle income' families that struggle most to keep it together financially because there's less in the way of financial support available to them. The school and especially the students (or at least those I've come across) don't give a stuff about the depth of one another's pockets. They admire talent, hard work and personality. They form a close knit group regardless of their previous backgrounds - they're all in it together with the same goals in mind. Dance may be a business to some but to those training the next generation of professionals it's an art form. What's more it's subsidised to help make sure that the most appropriate candidates get the opportunities rather than the the richest. Of course many of the the most appropriate may have been snapped up long before 6th form if they've been seen but many have not. I personally know several who got their first vocational training at 16 and are now dancing ballet professionally.
  10. I can confirm that DCs who haven't attended vocational schools do indeed get into vocational schools at 16. Mine did exactly that, graduated this summer and is currently a month into a professional ballet career. It wasn't always easy, but I'm glad we took the route we did despite as Harwel says it being a slog at times. Our choice was for DC to have a fully rounded education with an broad range of career options being supported. DC's 'normal' academic school was a key factor in supporting the need for time off and delayed homework. They were brilliant. Absolutely agree too that the quality of training is more important than the quantity. DC was very lucky to have a fantastic teacher who wasn't precious about talented students getting good quality additional training and actively encouraged getting to as many taster days, courses, associate schemes and workshops at the major ballet schools and assemblies as possible. These are great experience for the dancer who gets quality training and an opportunity to check out the schools and faculty. We parents also got invaluable feedback by doing this. If they think the dancer has what they want they'll let you know. We found that often one opportunity led to another. Dancers joining ballet school 6th form from non-vocational schools are definitely in the minority but they're not that rare either. Those I know don't seem to have struggled any more than those from vocational schools. It certainly doesn't seem to have held them back and they have just blended in with classmates from numerous schools, cultures and countries and had a fantastic experience. I'm also happy to share experience with others considering this route.
  11. I get the point you're making about comparing the sport elite to the dance elite and I agree. However, suggesting that there may be only one or two elite dancers on university courses in the UK is inaccurate and potentially misleading. Elite schools offer university courses and elite dancers study them. Students in the 3rd year of upper schools such as Central & Rambert have in the main already completed an undergraduate foundation degree in years 1 & 2. Completion of 3rd year converts the award to honours. They are on university courses. Students of dance genres other than ballet study for dance degrees too, though often a couple of years later than ballet students but also at top schools. They too are elite dancers on university courses. Many dancers choose these schools and courses specifically because they do offer an internationally recognised university qualification alongside the elite dance training enabling the switch to other careers in place of or after a professional dance career. People looking for information on vocational dance training post 16 should not get the idea that a university course signifies an inferior standard of training or dancer. Unless it's a maths course in which case they're far less fussy about turnout......
  12. In actual fact, this type of collaborative and comparative research study happens all the time between the elite sports and ballet worlds in order to learn from one another and improve. I signed numerous permission slips for participation in exactly this type of study before my DC turned 18 as no doubt have many others. 'University level dancers'? Central is to all intents and purposes a university (albeit a specialist one) its graduating students are awarded fully validated undergraduate foundation and honours degrees. Other dance 'schools' are also offering formal academic further and higher education qualifications. Perhaps unsurprising therefore that similar sport based establishments often seek to collaborate and pool resources. Outcomes of these studies contribute to other fields too - not just blogs and magazine articles. For example there are links on the Central website to news articles about a likely medical breakthrough from research based on a comparison between ballet dancers and rowers. http://www.itv.com/news/update/2013-09-27/scientists-crack-ballet-dancers-lack-of-dizziness/
  13. DC attended LSB in the year before starting Central doing LSB in the morning and RBS SAs in the afternoon as did a few others. LSB classes were at Kings Cross back then. I don't remember much about numbers or the audition process I'm afraid, but Nicky Bowden is a fantastic teacher.
  14. Central has been supportive of the application and audition process as veryskint described earlier in the thread. I just want to add that they organised audition photos and the ballet teacher filmed individual classwork DVDs. Both of which have been invaluable. Sylvie's right that getting variations filmed is a good idea as at least one company asked for a brief repertoire DVD as well. Very best wishes and good luck to your daughter Sylvie and to all the graduates in their next steps.
  15. Yes graduates need their schools to advocate for them, very few have professional experience to call upon for reference or recommendations. The flip side to that is that schools need to advocate for their graduates. It's essential that schools are able to produce good outcomes for their students in order to keep their funding and attract the best students. This thread reminds us that in the ballet world, the higher up the ladder you get, the harder it is to get onto the next rung because the number of opportunities reduces much quicker than the number of dancers competing for them does. Graduate employment rates seems like a good addition to the checklist when filing out those application forms, and taking all those photos and looking at funding options.
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